Amnesty International was founded in 1961 in London as an independent organisation to mobilise public opinion in defence of people who are imprisoned because their ideas are unacceptable to the government in their country. One of their areas of work is campaigning for the release of political prisoners and actions against torture.
The Angola Comité was established in 1961 to support the freedom struggle in Angola, later expanding its focus to include the whole of Southern Africa. In 1976, following the end of Portuguese colonialism, the Angola Comité was renamed the Komitee Zuidelijk Afrika (KZA) (known in English as the Holland Committee on Southern Africa). KZA was involved in campaigns to isolate South Africa including campaigns for sanctions and divestment and against banks making loans to South Africa. With another Dutch organization, Werkgroep Kairos (Working Group Kairos/ Stichting Kairos), the KZA was active in the Shell boycott campaign. It also campaigned in support of the sports boycott of apartheid South Africa. The KZA had an important success in 1985 when it forced the banks to stop selling the South African gold coin, the Krugerrand. After the end of apartheid, the KZA, the Anti-Apartheids Beweging Nederland (Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement) and the Eduardo Mondlane Stichting (Eduardo Mondlane Foundation) established the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NiZA). In 2007 NiZA merged with ActionAid, and in 2012 became operational as ActionAid Netherlands.
The ASK operated from 1973 till 1990. It was a platform against racism and neo-colonialism and its members were individuals as well as organisations. Some of the organisations were the German Student Union, the Socialist German Work Youth, the German Communist Party and Spartakus. It was active in information campaigns and gave practical financial support to the liberation movements. It was a member of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO).
The OvRF started in 1982 on the initiative of the AABN and mobilised people in the broadcasting sector to support Radio Freedom, the radio station of the ANC. Their aim being to raise financial support to train and equip several broadcasting stations for Radio Freedom. The organisation operated until 1995.
Comité Zuid-Afrika (CZA, Committee on South Africa) was founded in 1959 and dissolved in 1971. One of its focus areas was political prisoners. The Defence and Aid Fund Nederland, which was founded in 1971, grew out of CZA.
CASA was initiated by the AABN in 1986 to organise a big conference and festival in which hundreds of cultural workers from the ANC and from inside South Africa participated to discuss the future cultural policy of the country and to exchange with Dutch cultural workers. It closed down in 1988.
DAF Netherlands was established in 1965. It came out of the Comité Zuid-Afrika (founded in 1960), was affiliated to the IDAF, and was disbanded in 1991. It concentrated on fundraising for the defence of political prisoners and support to their families in South Africa. It also published informational materials.
The CPN was founded in 1935 and existed till 1991 when it merged with other political parties. The Working Group South Africa of the Party organised its solidarity work with South Africa and maintained contacts with the national AAMs and international solidarity organisations.
In 1969 the European Trade Union Secretariat (ETUS) adopted a new name, the European Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ECFTU). It was active in the area of code of conduct for companies investing in South Africa, the conduct of national and international trade unions towards South Africa and the application of the European Community Code of Conduct for multinational companies. In 1973 the ECFTU merged with the Trade Union Committee for the European Free Trade Area (EFTA-TUC) and continued as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
The Foundation Malibongwe was initiated by the AABN in 1988 to organise a women’s conference with ANC women and women from inside South Africa to exchange information and to discuss gender policies for a new South Africa. The foundation closed down in 1991.
The X-Y Movement started in 1973 and it received its funds from its members. Its main aim was to support liberation movements and work towards international structural change. It was active in boycott campaigns, gave direct support to liberation movements, and organised information activities. It also supported the work of the national AAMs.
The ANJV started in 1945 as a socialist youth organisation. It was very active in international solidarity campaigns, and besides organising its own activities, it also participated in campaigns organised by the national AAMs. They were especially active in organising students at secondary schools.
The ASVA was founded in 1945 as a student organisation at the University of Amsterdam. It became involved in general political activities and was very active in campaigns of the national AAMs as well as own campaigns for the scientific isolation of South Africa.
The KZA existed from 1976 till 1996. It continued the work of the Angola Committee which started in 1961 in support of the liberation movements in the Portuguese colonies. It fundraised for material support to the liberation movements. One of its big campaigns was the oil boycott, mainly directed against (Royal Dutch) Shell. It bought shares in order to be able to attend shareholders meetings where it could pressure Shell to withdraw from South Africa. It initiated the formation of the Shipping Research Bureau, together with Kairos, and was part of the Liaison Group. The KZA merged with the AABN and the EMF in 1997 to form NIZA.
The ICFTU was an international trade union founded in London in 1949 by unions opposing growing communist control of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). Its activities on South Africa were organised through the Coordination Committee on Southern Africa and the International Solidarity Fund Committee. ICFTU was dissolved in 2006 when it merged with the World Confederation of Labour (WCL) to form the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Karel Roskam was a radio journalist with the progressive broadcaster Vara. He was also a member of Omroep voor Radio Freedom. He produced numerous radio programmes and interviewed many people during the period 1961-1992.
In the Netherlands, as in several other countries, municipalities became active against apartheid in the second half of the 1980s. Their activities were especially directed towards consumer boycott campaigns and they worked with the national AAMs.
Ma Thoko was initiated by several gay members of the AABN, together with gay organisations in the Netherlands. It existed from 1990-1993 as a support group of non-racist gay organisations and policy in South Africa, especially GLOW.
The Miners' International Federation was founded in Jolimont, Belgium in 1890. The MIF was affiliated with the International Labour Organisation, which organised numerous conferences on South Africa and apartheid and was active on boycott issues related to workers’ rights. In 1995 the MIF merged with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).
Pieter Boersma is an Amsterdam-based photographer who had worked with the national AAMs and the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPAA) for many years. He took photographs of demonstrations and conferences, and visited projects of the ANC in Africa. He also attended numerous international anti-apartheid conferences.
The Shipping Research Bureau was a specialist organisation, mainly dealing with research into the oil trade with South Africa and alerting the world to breaches of the UN oil embargo. It pressured national governments to adopt sanctions against South Africa. It was founded by the Komitee Zuidelijk Afrika (KZA) and Working Group Kairos in 1980, and continued operating until 1995.
The SA/NAM was founded in 1986 and worked until 1993 to co-ordinate development projects in South Africa and Namibia. In South Africa, most of the funds went to the Kagiso Trust. The funds mainly came from SA/NAM members, European NGOs and anti-apartheid organisations, as well as from the European Special Programme for Victims of Apartheid (ESP).
The State Archives collection focuses mainly on the Dutch squatter movement, and includes material related to the movement's activities against apartheid. The movement carried out radical actions against companies dealing with South Africa, and operated in a semi-underground manner. The archive is housed at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.
The support group was formed when Dutch-Belgian couple De Jonge and Passtoors was arrested in South Africa in 1985 for smuggling weapons and explosives for the ANC into the country. De Jonge managed to seek refuge in the Dutch embassy in Pretoria, which caused a big diplomatic row. He stayed there for two years until he was exchanged with a South African prisoner. Passtoors was convicted of High Treason and imprisoned from 1985-1989. The support group, which campaigned for their release, closed down in 1989.
The WRI was established in 1921 as an organisation against war. Its members refuse to support war or preparations for war in various forms, such as refusing to engage in military service, pay taxes to support the military, etc. It is fundamentally committed to nonviolent action as a form of social struggle. WRI has provided training in nonviolence and held a number of international conferences. WRI was involved with solidarity work with the End Conscription Campaign and the Conscientious Objectors Support Group, which was formally affiliated with WRI.
The We and Them Foundation was founded in 1982 by the International Development Cooperation of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV). Besides direct support to trade unions in South Africa, the foundation also participated in campaigns of the national AAMs. It changed its name to FNV Mondiaal in 1997.
The Women’s Union started its activities in 1946 as the women’s union of the political party PvdA. In 1969 the Women's Union changed its name to Women's Contact. It was renamed the Red Women (Rooie Vrouwen) in 1975. They participated in campaigns of the national AAMs as well as Amnesty International Netherlands.
The Working Group Kairos was founded in 1970 in support of the Christian Institute in South Africa. Its main focus was on human rights violations and to raise support for sanctions and disinvestments and campaigned against Shell. It worked especially in the Christian community in the Netherlands and was instrumental in the foundation of the Shipping Research Bureau (SRB). It was renamed Stichting Kairos (Kairos Foundation), date unknown.
VKW was founded in 1976 by representatives from Christian women’s organisations and continued to operate till 1991. It was a solidarity organisation with women in developing countries and encouraged women in the Netherlands to be active for change. It had a special working group on South Africa and worked especially on practical support to women’s organisations in South Africa and boycott campaigns.
Correspondence, memoranda, campaign materials and lists. The collection includes: -Correspondence between the Komitee Zuidelijk Afrika and the African National Congress (ANC) London office concerning the Rivonia Trial and pressure being placed on the Dutch government to condemn the trial. -Campaigns for the release of the Rivonia Trialists, and about 5000 political prisoners in South Africa.
Working papers of The International Confederation of Trade Unions. Rivonia Trial related records: 4873 Correspondence concerning the Rivonia trial. 1963-1965. 1 folder. 4874-4875 Correspondence concerning the Treason Trials. Including correspondence with the South Africa Defence and Aid Fund. 1956-1969. 2 folders. 48741956-1962. 48751963-1969.
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)